Journalist. Writer. Researcher. Editor.

Why I didn’t report my rape #19

I didn’t and still haven’t reported my rape, and never will.

It was not until university that I realised it was rape at all.
I had a boyfriend who would never listen when I said no and I would eventually just lie there and let him do what he wanted because he would hold me down and it hurt so I would just give up. Sometimes I wanted to too, but that doesn’t make it right to do it when I say no. But I stayed with him because he was nice the rest of the time.
There was one night I was staying over and he left to fetch his cousin from somewhere. When he came back he wanted sex. I said no and he just carried on (while his cousin was in the room). Half way through he stood up, passed a condom to his cousin and he joined in. I joke about it if I ever tell people because it makes me feel better than admitting that it was something absolutely disgusting, and I prefer not to feel dirty about it.
I didn’t report it at the time because I didn’t realise it was rape. I thought my boyfriend had the right to. I would never report it now because who would believe me? It is 5 years later and the only proof is what I say… The police don’t care if you don’t have “proof”
I don’t wear the rape survivor shirt because I still don’t think people would believe me.

If you are rape survivor and need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to call the ‘Stop Gender Violence‘ helpline at 0800 150 150.

Note: Rape myths abound after the Vavi rape accusation was brought to light. These myths hurt all rape survivors – and if you ever experience sexual violence, these myths will hurt you too. The most common myth I’ve seen is the fallacy that if you don’t report to the police, it didn’t happen. (See here.) I put out a call on Twitter for survivors who didn’t report to send me their story. To follow the series, see here.

If you would like to include your story in this conversation, please email me: michelle at journoactivist dot com. I will assume anonymity for all submissions unless specified otherwise.

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